Post-orgasmic depression, omega-3 fatty acids, and dopamine

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posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 11:20 AM
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I originally wrote the following epic as a reply in another thread, but realized it was probably far off-topic and potentially interesting enough for further discussion on its own. The original thread was about sex and spirituality and whether orgasms are spiritually harmful and rob one of their life-force and vitality.

I would be especially interested in replies from people who feel they experience some form of depression after orgasms, male or female, with or without a partner.
edit on 12-7-2012 by elliotmtl because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 11:20 AM
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I've been reading and pondering this subject for four years and I still don't know what I think.

In my personal experience (male), orgasms inevitably lead to depression, irritability, manic mood swings, compulsive behavior, and other related problems. But I think this is a personal problem and does not necessarily mean that regular orgasms are harmful to everyone. Certainly some females seem to thrive off them
But I know I feel better when I avoid them for a while (weeks, months).

I have a theory that the "loss of energy" that some experience after orgasm - which leads the more spiritually-minded to conclude they are losing precious life-force / chi / etc - may actually be caused primarily by the overconsumption of omega-6 and trans fats and the underconsumption of omega-3 fats. How? Orgasm releases dopamine in the brain at a coc aine-like intensity. But (in my understanding) one does not actually feel the pleasure from this release until the dopamine hits the brain's dopamine receptors. Crucially, these receptors are formed from fat. The brain needs to use omega-3 fatty acids to build these receptors, but if these are not available, it will use another form instead. Unfortunately, trans fatty acids are the wrong shape (i.e. the physical alignment of the molecules) and this causes the receptor to be malformed and unable to receive dopamine. Instead, the dopamine floats around in the brain and/or blood This has the effect of a) making the orgasm less powerful and satisfying and b) misleading your brain into thinking it is producing too much dopamine, causing it to downregulate dopamine production and leaving you without enough to provide pleasure for normal daily activities like eating, socialization and exercise. The result is depression and a sense of depletion, loss of energy, etc. This, I believe, is the main reason for these beliefs that orgasms are bad and to be avoided.

There are some issues with this theory, however: the beliefs about the badness of orgasm go back further in history than the production of trans fats, which is what leads me to add omega-6 and other polyunsaturated fats to the theory. In addition, I do honestly believe that there's a "spiritual" component as well; at the very least, one's state of mind and emotions during a sex act are a big factor in the depth of enjoyment and the aftereffects on mood. I grew up believing all sexual activity outside of marriage, including masturbation, was wrong and damning, so I had much guilt associated with orgasm and never was able to truly enjoy it. I have found that if I consciously focus on feelings of pleasure and affection during a sex act, it improves the experience greatly.

But, there is still a sense of depletion and depression afterwards. I am absolutely certain from my dietary history that my dopamine receptors are not in an ideal condition, and I think this can be improved or even completely healed by several years of avoiding trans and excess omega-6 fat and consuming plenty of omega-3 (fish, hemp, flax, chia, products from pastured, grass-fed animals, etc). The brain is always rebuilding itself, but it takes a while for such massive structural changes to be completed.

I would strongly recommend that anyone who wishes to have a better sex life, male or female, avoid all trans fat intake (anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients) and increase omega-3 intake, particularly the DHA and EPA found in fish oil*, which is more effective than the ALA found in seed oils.

If you want to hear another and more hope-inducing perspective on this issue, google "zaneblue orgasm diet" and read about a woman who discovered that megadosing fish oil and a few other practices took her from zero to tremendous vaginal orgasm abilities, leading her to write a book on the subject and help many women achieve similar success. Much of the advice applies to men and has been known to help men achieve prostate orgasm ability as well. Its very interesting and relevant reading, if you dig deep enough into forum posts on this diet, I think you will find examples of people who initially had no mental correlation between sex and spirituality, begin to have sexual experiences so powerful and transcendent that they may now have a new perspective on the spiritual. Gate to Eden, indeed?

*if you are vegetarian (I am vegetarian except for fish oil but I am very concerned that the increasing demand for fish oil is beginning to deplete wild fish stocks, so would like to avoid it if I could) there have been, just within the last few years, significant advances in the algae oil industry. Algae is what the fish eat to give them omega-3s, so you can skip the fish step and just get the algae oil straight. Currently algae oil products are prohibitively expensive in the amount you need for therapeutic doses, and they don't contain enough EPA, but within the next year or so several new products should be hitting the market that should driv



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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If by depression you mean leads to Nap and Sammich cravings... than yes...

as for the other things you suggest, no.

Maybe I can sell making me a sandwich post coital to my wife as a "depression cure"
edit on 12-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by elliotmtl
 


Surely the cure for post orgasmic depression is another one? Or a cigarette?

Either would do me


ETA. I wouldn't say I get depressed afterwards? I just feel good..... and I get that close/intimate feeling with my wife, probably waiting for round two


Maybe that's the difference of being in a loving relationship? In the past I've had meaningless sex leave me feeling hollow. Is that what you mean?
edit on 12/7/2012 by Grifter81 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 11:43 AM
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One could say, that sounds very anticlimactic.

JK. What you are describing is normal. Once you've come, you're already there, and you've got nowhere else to go, know what I mean?
edit on 12-7-2012 by SubPop79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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But is it normal because its really supposed to work that way, or it normal because "everyone" has been consuming unhealthy fats since childhood? Almost everything in the standard American diet (or any country with similar farming practices) contains almost no omega-3 fat and an abundance of the bad fats.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by elliotmtl
 


I'm just throwing this out, but it could also have to do with how society has become so self loathing in so many ways that even the ultimate source of release and pleasure for a human adult of either gender has actually become a source of emotional trouble at best....perhaps even shame at worst. It's rather amazing to see attitudes elsewhere on what we in America put ourselves and each other through no end of stress and mental garbage over on a daily basis.

Just my idea for a possible alternate explanation.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I agree to a certain extent, but I've deliberately focused my emotions on positive things during sex acts and yet something forces my mood into the negative against my will. I think that "something" is a mechanical dysfunction in my brain. But it could just as easily be my imagination, or a deepset subconscious pattern, or a chi-sucking interdimensional energy-leech creature...I really don't know
edit on 12-7-2012 by elliotmtl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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I think it is not exactly depression.... its more like a clear thinking...everything you think after that point seems clear and doubtfree... i think that effect is natural...

unless you guys are talking about something entirely different..but i don;t think orgasm leads to depression.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by luciddream
 


That would be an entirely different effect than the effect that I get. I would say yours would be closer to the ideal I instinctively believe in but have never experienced.

Would be curious to know if your diet has generally been natural and healthy, or if you eat a lot of junk food, which would rather hurt my theory



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by Grifter81
ETA. I wouldn't say I get depressed afterwards? I just feel good..... and I get that close/intimate feeling with my wife, probably waiting for round two


Maybe that's the difference of being in a loving relationship? In the past I've had meaningless sex leave me feeling hollow. Is that what you mean?


That would be the mental/spiritual factor I alluded to...but for me it doesn't work very well even if I try to consciously keep myself in loving feelings, either towards myself or my partner. But I have significant issues with self-love and love in general so that is a factor, but somewhat irrelevant to the overall topic...I don't mean this to be about my personal issues


I should think that one should be able to feel a least a carnal satisfaction (similar to the satisfaction one is supposed to feel after a good meal) after even a meaningless lust-driven sex act. I don't, and I know many others (from reading their testimonies on various forums) don't either. I feel disturbingly, deeply, tangibly bad afterwards. I used to think this was guilt, but its not. It's something more solid and physical.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by elliotmtl
reply to post by luciddream
 


That would be an entirely different effect than the effect that I get. I would say yours would be closer to the ideal I instinctively believe in but have never experienced.

Would be curious to know if your diet has generally been natural and healthy, or if you eat a lot of junk food, which would rather hurt my theory


I would say am an avergae healthy eater...

Since age does matter... im 26, i eat junk food maybe1-3x/month. otherwise good food, most of the time home cooked.. i eat around 1800 calories. i eat more fruits than vegetable...

Altho i think food does have an affect, but it probably have more to do with Stress, Sleep and overall mental health. I would not say im stress free, i do have stress.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by luciddream
 


Yeah, that lines up pretty well with my ideas on the subject.
I see mental health as existing in an interwoven synchronicity with the physical health of the body and the brain...what you do physically with exercise, stress, and food affects your mental health by physically reshaping your brain for good or ill, but what you do mentally inside your head, the way you direct your thoughts, has an effect on the physical structure of your brain and body. So mental health can be affected by diet (fish oil is known to be a depression cure). You can also hurt or help yourself with your brain regardless of diet, by choosing negative or positive thought patterns. But the physical things like diet and stress avoidance make the mental part easier, just like its easier to drive a brand new luxury car than a broken-down clunker with a bent steering arm.

I don't know if I'm even making sense anymore



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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New sperm is always being made as far as I understand, so abstaining doesn't stop it from being produced. However, the orgasm part is the important part because of the neurotransmitters it consumes. I've always often wondered about that and think that it could be a source of depression or addiction if a persons life is not balanced in other areas like diet and exercise and a social network.

I am of course stila virgin so ... But I beun abstaining for the past year or two because I finally decided that there really was something harmful about it. I have read that it's good to flush the prostate because carcinogens might collect there. Nonetheless, I try to eat well given by circumstances and I still have wet dreams maybe eveyr 3-4 weeks. Dreams are bit unruly.

Besides, I did it plenty enough. I'm 35 now. Taking a break. Maybe forever. We all get old.
edit on 12-7-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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I only get depressed because it's over. And I get depressed when I don't get it often enough, which is about every 3-4 hours.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by jonnywhite
New sperm is always being made as far as I understand, so abstaining doesn't stop it from being produced. However, the orgasm part is the important part because of the neurotransmitters it consumes. I've always often wondered about that and think that it could be a source of depression or addiction if a persons life is not balanced in other areas like diet and exercise and a social network.
edit on 12-7-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)


If one ceases all sexual arousal for several "sperm production cycles" i.e. several months, sperm production will slow down and eventually stop. However, in today's society that would require an almost superhuman amount of self-control and/or isolation. I'm talking arousal period, not just acting upon the arousal.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by MrUncreated
I only get depressed because it's over. And I get depressed when I don't get it often enough, which is about every 3-4 hours.


Hmm...I suppose there is nothing better to do in a FEMA camp...


But seriously (if you were serious, I can't tell), I can't even do that much, I'm practically incapable of enjoying it again for at least half a day after an orgasm, sometimes several days. Even if I mechanically force sexual activity (which I've done, for research and experimental purposes
), it physically works, but I get almost no pleasure from it. I almost hate the very idea of sex during that period, like my brain is physically incapable of producing any more pleasure, which lends support to my theory unless I am misinterpreting the sensations.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 01:09 PM
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I've also noted that my intellectual mind is disgusted by arousal. It's like there's two me's. One of them reads books and wears glasses and the other is pouring through porn books and has tattoos.

The guy that wears glasses always wins because that's who I really am and always have been. So it's not really ever been a battle between them. Overall, sex seems mentally suffocating and intolerable somehow. I know it's part of us like breathing is, but there're parts of me I don't care for. Instinct drives a good bit of what we're, but I think the conscious mind can override it.

See, even the ugliest guy can still pleasure himself if he's creative. Nature works well that wya because it always finds answers. So it's a struggle for eveyr person to overcome their instincts. I think our conscious mind was added to our primitive mind as a means to negotiate more complex and dynamic worlds. Instinct wokrs well in worlds that don't change much. Anyway, this gave us the capability to override instinct. The guy with the glasses can win if he's determined.

I'm not saying that couples can't have some sex alongside life's responsibilities. But I do think that the "God gave man enough blood for his brain or his rod, but not enough for both" is true. At the end of the day, sex is an afterthought after everything else: work, love, study, eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. Sex isn't meant to be anything more. But instinct is too dumb to discriminate in all circumstnaces. That's why the conscious mind sometimes has to come to the rescue.
edit on 12-7-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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I know what you're talking about. All that is though is a guilty conscience in most cases. This is just my opinion, but I think it's kinda like this. And I've had this conversation with some Christian guys.

So say a guy is a Christian. They want to do there marriage in the very traditional fashion. that means finding a girl. dating, engageed, married, then sex. But obviously in this crazy world that doesn't always happen. So time goes by and if you don't find the right person it becomes harder and harder to have to wait. You don't want to end up as the 40 yr old virgin.

so I think eventually lots of guys end up having sex when presented with the opportunity before marriage. But they feel extremely guilty after. And this might go on for a many years infact. Until eventually it's as if the conscience is at the point where it no longer responds to sex or at least not in as dramatic a fashion.

I'm sure even if someone isn't a Christian or spiritual they might have feeling of guilt after. What I'm getting to is just the fact that if there wasn't any afterlife, God, or spirit within the body, then there's no way the conscience would go off in this event or any other for that matter. Good evil and morality might be a concept on paper but the body wouldn't have any sort of reaction in the least to most anything, espcially not to sex. Anyway that's my 2 cents.



posted on Jul, 12 2012 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by jonnywhite
I've also noted that my intellectual mind is disgusted by arousal. It's like there's two me's. One of them reads books and wears glasses and the other is pouring through porn books and has tattoos.


I know what you mean, but I don't like to separate the minds like that. Seems to lead to a form of schizophrenia for me, where sometimes I would spend half a day on a porn binge and then get disgusted with myself and delete it all and swear to be celibate for the rest of my life and then a week later do the same thing all over again. Such a waste of time and resources.

I prefer to stay in a more or less constant state of near arousal, by not having orgasms very often and staying healthy enough to keep my sex drive high. That way I am always in the same state of mind, and can dance between the intellectual parts of me and the instinctive parts on a moment-by-moment basis. It's like Banner's secret to controlling his anger: "I'm always angry". I prefer to integrate the disparate sections of my personality into a flowing single-minded entity.






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